What’s that buzzing around your kitchen? Are little bugs swarming your trash can or congregating on your fresh fruit? If you ever have tiny gnat-like insects hanging out in your kitchen, chances are they’re fruit flies. Once you begin to notice them, fruit flies appear to be everywhere. Not long after you start seeing fruit flies in your house, many homeowners realize they are ready to get rid of these pesky insects.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Before we discuss how to get rid of fruit flies in your house, let’s learn a little more about these animals and how they make it into your home.
What Are Fruit Flies?
These insects are small flies of the Drosophila species, and although tiny, when magnified they actually look a lot like houseflies. As described by entomologists, adult fruit flies are about 1/8 inch long, and although you can’t see them, they have red eyes. They can lay up to 500 eggs at a time on ripening fruits, as well as in garbage disposals, trash cans, damp sponges, compost pails and other organic materials. It only takes eight to ten days for a fruit fly to go from egg to adult, so they reproduce rapidly. They are attracted to the odor of fermentation, so they love the smell of rotting fruits and vegetables as well as empty beer and wine bottles.
While fruit flies don’t bite, they can contaminate food with bacteria, so it’s a good idea to stop an infestation as soon as you notice any of the flies.
Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
Fruit flies’ whole life purpose is to find fermenting fruit so they can lay their eggs and reproduce. You can get them in your house from outside, often through small crevices around doors or windows or via holes in your screens. More commonly, fruit flies (or their eggs) hitch a ride on produce purchased at a store and set up their new home in your kitchen.
How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies Fast
It’s difficult to fight fruit flies by preventing them from getting into your home. Instead, you need to act quickly when you find fruit flies, so they don’t have a chance to reproduce. Here are some tips for getting rid of fruit flies.
- Keep sinks, countertops and garbage disposals clean.
- Always rinse fresh fruit and vegetables you plan to leave on the counter to eliminate potential fruit fly eggs. You can also use mesh bags.
- Regularly empty and disinfect all trash cans, and choose trash cans with lids.
- Don’t keep old sponges or mops around.
- Wash dishes immediately, especially if they have fruit, juice or alcoholic beverage residue.
- If you compost, use a pail with a tight-fitting lid and empty it regularly.
- Rinse all cans and bottles before putting them in the recycling.
- Check areas where you store potatoes and onions regularly.
- Try using a sprig of the fresh herb rue near your produce as a deterrent for fruit flies and other house flies.
- Use a fruit fly trap to get rid of adult flies.
Make a Fruit Fly Trap
There are commercial fruit fly traps, but it’s actually just as effective to make your own. Here are a couple of options.
- Fill a small jar ¼ to ½ full of apple cider vinegar (other types will not be as effective, although beer will work in a pinch). Cover the jar with plastic wrap sealed with a rubber band and punch a few holes in the plastic wrap. You will need to replace the vinegar every week or so as it loses effectiveness.
- Fill a small glass with apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Fruit flies will land on the vinegar, and the soap will cause them to drown.
When Homemade Traps Just Aren’t Enough
If you’re sick of dealing with fruit flies, or any other flying insects in your home, call out the experts at ABC Home & Commercial Services. We can send out experts to inspect your home for places flies may be entering and identify areas where they’re breeding. With a helping hand from our staff, we can help make your house fly-free in no time!